Monday, October 12, 2009

Is UT stingy with providing information?

Taking birth to empower people, the Right to Information Act, 2005, completed four years on October 12. But even as it ushered in a new era of enlightenment, with facts buried in files surfacing and government functioning coming under the scanner, many activists claimed UT administration still had a long way to go in living up to the spirit of transparency. Broadsiding the administration for its indifferent attitude, social activist Hemant Goswami claimed that in the last six months, over 450 applications had been sent to various administrative departments, especially home and finance. "But in 95% cases, they have not bothered to reply," he added.

Blaming the chief information commission for not penalizing its officers for failing their duty, Goswami added, "The lapse of a year in many cases in hearing appeals has also rendered the whole procedure ineffective." Activists said that various sections like 4(1)(a) which directed officials to voluntarily disclose information on websites and 6(3) which made it necessary for the public authority to whom an application was made to forward it to the department concerned and inform the applicant immediately about its transfer were not followed by the administration.

Complete Article
Claiming that many a time wrong inputs were provided, RTI crusader RK Garg
added, "Appellate authorities are still quite biased and do not like to part
with information."
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